Farming Matters: HS2’s biggest victims are farmers

Heather Jan Brunt - Farming Matters
Heather Jan Brunt - Farming Matters

The utter arrogance of HS2, in their total disregard for the misery being inflicted on so many, was sadly all too apparent at a meeting of local farmers hosted by the NFU to discuss the environmental statement and how best to respond to it.

I have had personal experience of the ignorance and appalling lack of sympathy shown by HS2 employees.

At a consultation meeting in Wendover before Christmas I asked a member of the HS2 team how she could morally justify working for a company that is destroying the lives and livelihoods of so many people.

She laughed in my face.

Judging by the comments expressed at the meeting I am not the only one to have been treated with such disdain.

One farmer told the meeting he was losing 400 acres, but has had no response to his communications, and no visit to his farm despite receiving maps showing the almost utter destruction of his business.

He called it a wipeout, and said maps were being drawn by people in city offices who had no knowledge of the area.

It seems the environmental statement is more concerned about natural habitats rather than farmland.

At the end of the project HS2’s current estimate is to double the amount of habitat they destroy, by taking yet more productive farmland out of production and planting it with trees and balancing ponds to meet their own targets.

As one farmer put it: “They think tree planting is good publicity, but no one cares about the loss of farmland.”